From the Pastor
 

Sunday Morning Service

9:00am


Sunday School

10:15am

 

Nursery is provided for younger children during Sunday Morning Service.


Handicapped Parking available.

Monday Morning Messege

Our Might Is in Our Mite
Mark 12:41-44
How do we measure life? Do we measure it in dollars and cents, or time
and activities, or generosity and service, or faith and love, or…? What we
value most varies greatly from person to person. We all have different
standards and different ways of determining what should matter most or
least. We might expect that Jesus would have been impressed with the
larger donations made by those who contributed before her, but he wasn’t.
Instead, he claimed that she had given more than the others; that she had
given all that she had. Can we learn to look at life through the same
weights and scales that Jesus’ used? Can we learn to focus on the heart
of the giver rather than the gift? Giving away excess or that which we do
not need or want isn’t really much of a gift, according to Jesus. That being
the case, we may feel that we do not have much to offer. However, when
we are willing to offer to God whatever we do have, God will use it in ways
that turn our mite, no matter how small our gift, into might: that which is
powerfully used for the benefit and blessing of many. We cannot do this on
our own, it is God’s richness that blesses and multiplies our efforts.
In order to allow God to utilize and multiply whatever we have to offer, we
must first begin by acknowledging our blessings and considering what we
have that could benefit others. We hear Jesus proclaim that this widow has
made a genuine sacrifice, has given her "whole life" because of her faith.
We look ahead to a vision of Jesus hanging on a cross making the ultimate
sacrifice, giving his "whole life" for our own sake.
Challenge Questions
1. Count your blessings! In what ways are your ‘rich beyond measure’?
2. How might you share that wealth?
3. Who might benefit from experiencing what you have? (a smile, your
laugh, encouragement, possessions, etc.)
4. Are you, as the widow did, willing to give your all to God?

Remember, mite has might!
And that might is the might of love

as we experience it in Christ and pass it on to others.

Monday Morning Meditation: What do you see?
Like an optical illusion, what a person sees is often skewed by the eye of the beholder.  We live in a pluralistic world in which a person’s experiences and perspective brings validity to that person’s views, even while another person may hold an opposing view that is equally as valid – because of that person’s experience and perspective.  We become passionate about what we believe because we can only be certain that our own experiences are true.  It is hard to see someone else’s differing view without a sense of having our own views being challenged.  This week’s scripture is about Bartimaeus in Mark 10:46-52.  Even though he was physically blind, he could see that Jesus was God’s chosen one who could heal him of his physical infirmity.  Others saw him as no one special, just a blind beggar.  But he knew that Jesus represented a God of love and grace, so he cried out to him even though others continued to try to hush him.
What do you see?  When you look at the world around you or your daily situations in life, what do you see?  Our perspectives are expectedly different; our experiences may even be opposite; yet we are guided by the same God.  What do you see?  Do you see:
o   A crumpling building or God’s future plan?
o   The ‘faceless multitude or God’s beloved people?
o   People that we ‘just don’t understand’, that don’t believe like us, that don’t value what (we believe) should really matter… or people who have such different experiences that they probably think the same of us? 
o   A God who can enable us to see beyond ourselves?
o   A God who can do more than we can even imagine?
o   A God who can show us common ground where we only see differences?
Challenge Questions
1.   How many times this week can you spot Jesus at work in the world around you?
2.   When someone believes differently than you, can you see Jesus at work? What do you see?
3.   How will you use your stewardship of sight and insight this week to enrich your faith and the faith of others?
Our Might Is in Our Mite
Mark 12:41-44
How do we measure life? Do we measure it in dollars and cents, or time
and activities, or generosity and service, or faith and love, or…? What we
value most varies greatly from person to person. We all have different
standards and different ways of determining what should matter most or
least. We might expect that Jesus would have been impressed with the
larger donations made by those who contributed before her, but he wasn’t.
Instead, he claimed that she had given more than the others; that she had
given all that she had. Can we learn to look at life through the same
weights and scales that Jesus’ used? Can we learn to focus on the heart
of the giver rather than the gift? Giving away excess or that which we do
not need or want isn’t really much of a gift, according to Jesus. That being
the case, we may feel that we do not have much to offer. However, when
we are willing to offer to God whatever we do have, God will use it in ways
that turn our mite, no matter how small our gift, into might: that which is
powerfully used for the benefit and blessing of many. We cannot do this on
our own, it is God’s richness that blesses and multiplies our efforts.
In order to allow God to utilize and multiply whatever we have to offer, we
must first begin by acknowledging our blessings and considering what we
have that could benefit others. We hear Jesus proclaim that this widow has
made a genuine sacrifice, has given her "whole life" because of her faith.
We look ahead to a vision of Jesus hanging on a cross making the ultimate
sacrifice, giving his "whole life" for our own sake.
Challenge Questions
1. Count your blessings! In what ways are your ‘rich beyond measure’?
2. How might you share that wealth?
3. Who might benefit from experiencing what you have? (a smile, your
laugh, encouragement, possessions, etc.)
4. Are you, as the widow did, willing to give your all to God?
Remember, mite has might!
And that might is the might of love
as we experience it in Christ and pass it on to other
Our Might Is in Our Mite
Mark 12:41-44
How do we measure life? Do we measure it in dollars and cents, or time
and activities, or generosity and service, or faith and love, or…? What we
value most varies greatly from person to person. We all have different
standards and different ways of determining what should matter most or
least. We might expect that Jesus would have been impressed with the
larger donations made by those who contributed before her, but he wasn’t.
Instead, he claimed that she had given more than the others; that she had
given all that she had. Can we learn to look at life through the same
weights and scales that Jesus’ used? Can we learn to focus on the heart
of the giver rather than the gift? Giving away excess or that which we do
not need or want isn’t really much of a gift, according to Jesus. That being
the case, we may feel that we do not have much to offer. However, when
we are willing to offer to God whatever we do have, God will use it in ways
that turn our mite, no matter how small our gift, into might: that which is
powerfully used for the benefit and blessing of many. We cannot do this on
our own, it is God’s richness that blesses and multiplies our efforts.
In order to allow God to utilize and multiply whatever we have to offer, we
must first begin by acknowledging our blessings and considering what we
have that could benefit others. We hear Jesus proclaim that this widow has
made a genuine sacrifice, has given her "whole life" because of her faith.
We look ahead to a vision of Jesus hanging on a cross making the ultimate
sacrifice, giving his "whole life" for our own sake.
Challenge Questions
1. Count your blessings! In what ways are your ‘rich beyond measure’?
2. How might you share that wealth?
3. Who might benefit from experiencing what you have? (a smile, your
laugh, encouragement, possessions, etc.)
4. Are you, as the widow did, willing to give your all to God?
Remember, mite has might!
And that might is the might of love
as we experience it in Christ and pass it on to others.
Our Might Is in Our Mite
Mark 12:41-44
How do we measure life? Do we measure it in dollars and cents, or time
and activities, or generosity and service, or faith and love, or…? What we
value most varies greatly from person to person. We all have different
standards and different ways of determining what should matter most or
least. We might expect that Jesus would have been impressed with the
larger donations made by those who contributed before her, but he wasn’t.
Instead, he claimed that she had given more than the others; that she had
given all that she had. Can we learn to look at life through the same
weights and scales that Jesus’ used? Can we learn to focus on the heart
of the giver rather than the gift? Giving away excess or that which we do
not need or want isn’t really much of a gift, according to Jesus. That being
the case, we may feel that we do not have much to offer. However, when
we are willing to offer to God whatever we do have, God will use it in ways
that turn our mite, no matter how small our gift, into might: that which is
powerfully used for the benefit and blessing of many. We cannot do this on
our own, it is God’s richness that blesses and multiplies our efforts.
In order to allow God to utilize and multiply whatever we have to offer, we
must first begin by acknowledging our blessings and considering what we
have that could benefit others. We hear Jesus proclaim that this widow has
made a genuine sacrifice, has given her "whole life" because of her faith.
We look ahead to a vision of Jesus hanging on a cross making the ultimate
sacrifice, giving his "whole life" for our own sake.
Challenge Questions
1. Count your blessings! In what ways are your ‘rich beyond measure’?
2. How might you share that wealth?
3. Who might benefit from experiencing what you have? (a smile, your
laugh, encouragement, possessions, etc.)
4. Are you, as the widow did, willing to give your all to God?
Remember, mite has might!
And that might is the might of love
as we experience it in Christ and pass it on to others
Mark 9:33-37
Last week, we focused on Jesus’ teaching that it’s what is on the inside –
our hearts and souls – that matters. Tending first to our external selves
and how we are on the outside does not enable us to live healthy and
happy lives. We need to live from the inside out. This week, Jesus turns
our thinking upside down as he instructs the disciples that in order to be
greatest, they must be the least; in order to be leader, they must be servant
of all. Putting it all together, we are reminded to live life from the inside out
and upside down or, as the children’s book is titled, Inside, Outside, Upside
Down.
As we study the passage, we learn that Jesus does not criticize them for
wanting to be great. Our internal sense of ambition has been given to us
by God and can enable us to accomplish great things! In our ambition, we
simply need to be sure that we do not abuse other people in achieving our
ambitions, and as long as we balance that ambition with our love for God
and neighbor. Likewise, our ambition should be directed not toward worldly
success or status or titles, but toward serving others.
Jesus also left a legacy of service for his followers. He did this by wrapping
a towel around his waist on the night when he was betrayed and washing
their feet. He taught them to serve by his own example. We are to do
likewise. All of this goes back to living life from the inside out, for this is at
the heart of service. We should even be ambitious in serving, serving God
thru serving others. Jesus tells us to live life with the inside showing
through on the outside and turning the world’s ways of being first upside
down; to be greatest, we must be least and servant of all. Inside, Outside,
Upside Down.
Challenge Questions
1. Who do you admire most and why? Who do you see as the “least”?
2. In what ways do you want to be “the greatest”?
3. What would it look like to serve the lowliest or least?
4. How does serving others impact your soul? Can this upside down living
effect you from the inside out?
This week’s service continued the theme of the Tie that Binds. Paul’s
words to us in Galatians 5:16-26 are wise words for us as we seek to live in
God’s Spirit and in relationship with one another. As we considered
“Moving with the Tie of Relationship”, Paul warns us of several destructive
behaviors while reminding us that life in the Spirit should produce love, joy,
peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness and self-
control. We are to build the Kingdom of God on earth by living by the Spirit
which enables us to produce these nine fruits and more. We must decide:
who are we? And who do we want to be?
 People who are self-centered, angry, fleshly, carnal, unloving,
uncaring and unattractive?
 Or are we people of grace and mercy, love and kindness, patience
and tolerance – long-suffering with others?
Challenge Questions:
1. How might you deepen your experience of the Kingdom of God or the
fruit of the Spirit in your own life, despite the pressures of the world?
2. How might you pass on the fruit of the Spirit to others?
3. How might you share the Tie that Binds with someone else?
May 30, 2021
Dear Friends,
Our primary scripture is from John 3:1-17 where we see Nicodemus going
out after dark to find Jesus and talk with him about his teachings. Skeptical
but not as hateful as his fellow Pharisees, Nicodemus seems to be really
trying to grasp Jesus’ teachings. We find Nicodemus appearing again after
the crucifixion as the one who secures Jesus’ body from Pilate and
compassionately lays it to rest in a tomb. In the midst of this, Jesus
endeavors to explain to Nicodemus that new life is possible through the
grace of God and power of the Holy Spirit.
We, too, are given the possibility of a ‘second life’ – or a third, or fourth, or
fifth.. Through Christ, every breath is a second chance! As we re-enter life
as a post-pandemic period, we need to re-evaluate who we are and who
God calls us to be. Are you who you want to be? • We cannot change the
past, but the HS can enable us to reshape our future in unimaginable ways.
What do you want your second life to be like?
See you in church,
Pastor Jo
Easter Sunday 2021
It was wonderful to be together in the House of the Lord! See you again Sunday!
Do you enjoy dancing?  Honestly, I have never been a person that would say I ‘enjoy’ dancing.  When I was involved in prison ministry, however, there were moments that participating in dancing had a huge impact.  Epiphany Ministries began going into adult prisons, such as The Ohio Reformatory for Women, around 1997, to minister to juvenile offenders.  Our participants ranged in age from 15-21.  Many of these were girls who experienced little to no childhood. A key piece of the encounter was helping them to feel freedom in Christ – which is particularly difficult or at least contradictory in a maximum-security prison.  For many, a key connection was through dance, such as the Electric Slide, Macarena, and even silly songs like “Tony Chestnut”.  Christ died so that we might know ultimate freedom.
Nothing could hold Jesus in the grave: not imprisonment, not a tomb, not death, not the sins of the world!  Jesus’ death and resurrection means that we are also free and can overcome anything, even death.  We can experience freedom from our sins, and from anything else that binds us – addiction, bad habits, worry, guilt, anger, etc.  Through this freedom, we are able to act for justice, love people (even those not loved easily by others), we are free to be loved and to feel worthy of love and to be in a right relationship with God.  We are even free to dance!
Challenges:
o What does it feel like to be free enough to dance?
o Where in your life do you not feel free? Where do you feel held down or imprisoned?
o What is it like to let Jesus remove those barriers or weights that are keeping you from being free?
o Who might you encourage through urging them that they are meant to be free in Christ?V